My study approach to CCIE R&S - please advice!

nickelitonickelito Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello guys,

I am starting with my CCIE studies this week and I have up until this point been focusing on how I best can study the information and at the same time be time/cost effective.

Please have a look at my approach and let me know if there is something you would change and why.
I have used INEs advice on taking on a structured approach:

1. Basic theoretical knowledge
2. Basic hands on knowledge
3. Expert theoretical knowledge
4. Expert hands on knowledge.

This is what im thinking:

I am going to try to hit a minimum of 4 hours per day of reading in the first phase, then add 2 hours to that when its time for watching videos, so 6h/day on phase 2.

I feel that Phase 3 & 4 is too far down the road atm to estimate how much time per day i will have to do, plus I need to reassess my current life situation by then.

--- Phase 1: Build basic knowledge, foundations (reading only) ~ 5 months

1.1 Read the vendor independent book on this list
Recommended CCIE Books | INE - INE

1.2 Read the Cisco Press books on this list
Recommended CCIE Books | INE - INE

--- Phase 2: Build advanced theoretical knowledge + Build basic hands on knowledge (reading + videos + some labs) ~ 6 - 10 months

2.1 Buy INE All Access Pass and watch all of the R&S materials

2.2 Buy rack rentals from INE, watch the videos again and fallow along with labs

2.3 Read Cisco documentations + whitepapers + RFCs

2.4 Pass Written exam

--- Phase 3: Apply expert level theoretical knowledge and basic level hands on knowledge to reach expert level hands-on knowledge (labbing) ~ 6 months

3.1 All out labs. Doing workbooks and if necessary, fall back to reading/videos when a gap in knowledge exists.
3.2 Take time off from work (if possible) to do labs all days.


Please let me know what you think of this approach and if there is anything you would change Id love to hear your opinion.
One thing that I realize is not exactly 100% time effective is that i will spend all of phase 1 just reading.
INE does however strongly recommend having a good solid understanding of foundational knowlede before approaching their course, which is intended to help you pass the lab, not the written... so maybe I should buy the All Access Pass sooner than Phase 2 and start watching their vids as I learn the foundations? It does break the rule of building basic knowledge first though...


  • nickelitonickelito Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Doesnt anyone have feedback to give on my study plans?
  • lostindaylightlostindaylight Member Posts: 43 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi nickelito,

    Here's a couple of thoughts I have.

    1. Consider expanding your scope of study material beyond what INE recommends.

    The Micronics workbooks are awesome, and the newer Cisco 360 labs are good too.
    Also, the Cisco OCGs (written in part by the Micronics guy) are very good.

    2. Knock the written out early, not towards the end
    The written covers a bunch of stuff that's not on the lab and takes a suffcient time to focus on that you won't be doing a lot of labbing in preperation for it. the old advice of taking the written just before the lab is no longer applicable.

    3. Always be labbing
    Lab up the stuff you read about in the books. Then go back and read it again. Combining labs with bookwork has two key benefits. 1.) It provides insight with increased the depth of your learning. 2.) books and documentation have errors! labbing will expose the inaccuracies right away so you won't end up memorizing a bunch of stuff that you'll have to unlearn later.

    4. Consistency is king.
    It's a marathon not a sprint. Once you start, keep a regular study schedule until you're done. Try plan on a mimium of 20 hours a week. That's sustainable. once you're in the last 3 months before your lab date that number will need to come up, but it will get you most the way there without making you feel burnt out. Many many people start out strong but run out of gas after a few months. Another common error is to take a break after a failed attempt. I made this mistake myself.

    Best wishes and hope this helps.

  • nickelitonickelito Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□


    Best wishes and hope this helps.


    Thanks alot for this!
    I will definately focus on getting the Written out of the way asap after hearing about this.

    Do you think that its a good idea to start with reading alot of books to bring my foundational knowledge up, to learn about technologies either not mentioned in the CCNA/CCNP or just not covered deeply enough, BEFORE getting an INE account and start with the advanced technologies?

    Or would it be more efficient to do them in parallell?

    Thanks again for your help!
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